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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

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1,779 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,779
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 21
Gots: 55 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,779 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +9%

Came in a clear bottle - that always worries me. Pours an amber color with a small head that mostly dies off. Leaves very little lacing on the glass. Aroma is malty with some hop notes, but there are some spices in there as well. The flavor is very well rounded. Nice caramel maltiness with a balanced hop character and a tiny bit of spiciness just for fun. Could have a little more body, but a pretty decent beer.

clvand0, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%

The beer pours a golden amber color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is nicely hopped with a sweet caramel background. The flavor is very caramel, with some sweet hops that hit towards the end of the swallow. The flavor is a bit thin though. The feel is just a light moderate beer, not as thick as I would expect. Drinkability is high, as this beer leaves my glass quickly.

kmpitz2, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of RoterTeufel
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

Although I am usually a fan of Samuel Smith's beers, this is not one of my favorites. I concur with some of the other reviewers that they ought to consider bottling in brown bottles. (This is my first, possibly second time drinking this beer as I write this review)

Pours out with a thick foamy head & a toffy/caramel color, transparent as can be. Initial smell was faint of hops & something I couldn't quite put my finger on; smelt like tasty beer to me. It tastes balanced, but somewhat skunked by their trakemark clear bottles - don't get me wrong, I like it, but something is just a little off. Mouthfeel is just about right for me: smooth, but lets you know it has carbonation with tiny bubbles crossing your tongue, if you leave it there long enough. Drinkability is where most Sammy Smith's have their downfall (IMHO); that is why, I believe, they come in 550mL bottles, or 4 packs of 12oz bottles. I could have a couple of pints, or 12 oz. bottles at the most of this stuff at a time, then move on to a Taddy Porter, or Oatmeal Stout.

RoterTeufel, Oct 22, 2004
Photo of Hunter
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%

The beer pours a lovely deep amber, with a thick head of pillowy foam. No carbonation to speak of.

Smell is a little off. Skunky, which is my biggest complaint to Sam Smith's here - can you PLEASE bottle using brown glass??? The clear glass seems to allow simply too much light in.

Taste is smooth and malty, your basic English ale with some spice and secrets thrown in. Almost reminiscent of a Belgian (is there candi sugar hiding in here?) Mouthfeel is silky, with a bitter aftertaste of hops and slightly sour fruit.

I wanted to give this brew a better rating (although what I gave isn't all that bad) because I enjoy this seasonal offering. But between the smell and the somewhat bitter aftertaste I couldn't in good conscience do it.

Hunter, Oct 14, 2004
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%

Good enough looking beer. A lively red/orange color. Appropriate head for the style...not much, but present. Decent carbonation.

Smells like Sam Smith. Get some malty notes and even a good dose of hops, but mostly that Sam Smith smell. Don't know what that is...maybe the stone square fermentation...I've often wondered. But oh well. Its sure is pleasent and something unique about the beers.

Very nice flavor. Not quite sure its a Winter Warmer, but it sure is nice. Get some pleasant Sam Smith character up front with the hops coming to dominate quite soon thereafter with a fine bitterness. Fairly clean tasting except for the Sam Smith 'roundness', but that is actually a clean flavor. Get some nice round malty notes in the middle to finish.

Mouthfeel is nice, but honestly the carbonation is a bit much for the style I think. Really a bit too prickly in the mouth. I bet this is wonderful from a cask.

I could drink a couple...quite nice.

cerevisiaephilus, Oct 06, 2004
Photo of BrewMaster
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%

Poured from a 550 ml bottle labeled "2003-2004." Pours amber golden with a light head. It turns to a complete but thin covering of bubbles very quickly. It lacks any hearty aroma to speak of. Perhaps a bit of malriness, but nothing distinguishable to my nose.

In the flavor I get a definate malty flavor along with honey, citrus, and a bit og a metallic flavor. The glass I am drinking it from is a pint glass I use for man beers and is thouroughly cleaned each time, so I don't think the metallic taste comes from the glass. It is also a bit sour in flavor.

BrewMaster, Aug 22, 2004
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

Very colorful label with a scene of a sleigh trudging through deep powder in the middle of winter. This is the 2003-2004 version which pours an amber brew with a white head that sticks around nicely. Aroma has that distinct english mineral character and some sweet malts but no spices to be detected. Taste is very enjoyable as there is a clean herbal hop bitterness balanced with a slightly sweet malt flavor that segues into a clean, dry finish. The mouthfeel is smooth but lively as there is an average level of carbonation. Very nice ale to sip by the fireside in a cabin during winter though it makes a medicore session beer.

RenoZymurgist, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of Roderick
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%

This poured a medium copper-brown with a rather small head.
The smell of hops hit me but was crisp and mild.
My first taste seemed a little too malty but I was soon rewarded with a subtle sweetness that seemed to be the dominate flavor.
This isn't a great beer to me but its a decent beer and I certainly wouldn't turn one down.
Price: $1.99 for a 12oz bottle

Roderick, Jul 25, 2004
Photo of cbl2
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%

Note: 2003-2004 version


Clear medium brown with 1" white head.


A smooth malt and hop aroma emerge that is nicely balanced.


Sweet up front that is instantly followed by a nice kick of herbal hops. Usually not a hops fan, but this is so well balanced that I can't complain.

cbl2, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of MrNuggets
3.78/5  rDev +3%

Small white head on this one. Malt aroma but there is something odd about it. Luckluster taste that leave me waiting for something that never arrives. I was expecting alot more because of the style. Malt is present, yet far too subdued. Sames goes for the hops. Great balance. After taste is slightly bready. Heavyer mouthfeel than the taste would let you believe. Drinkable.

MrNuggets, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
2.68/5  rDev -27%

This poured to a fairly light orange with hints of red and brown shades. There's not much head and there's no lace to speak of.

It has a really slippery taste, similar to a traditional pale ale. The overall taste really isn't very impressive. The smell is pretty off and that really takes away from the beer overall. It stays fairly drinkable through a light mouthfeel.

watermelonman, May 13, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
4.55/5  rDev +24%

I have always been a big fan of Samuel Smith's. This is another great beer by them.
This beer pours a dark amber that is very clear. The head is think and foamy that laces the whole glass.
The smell when I first open the bottle seemed skunky. But after pouring and taking a second smell was anything but. It has a very strong presence of raisins and general fruitiness. As you inhale deeper you can detect a slight carmel tone.
The taste is very strong as well starting with an initial maltiness followed by a carmel and fig taste. It then surprised me by finishing with a slight bite of hops and sort of dry. It was just right. I couldnt detect the alc. even though its 6% ABV. A very smooth beer.

HochFliegen, May 12, 2004
Photo of Gasp100
4.22/5  rDev +15%

My second Samuel Smith offering... second one today I might add. Pours a clear amber with a foamy white head that barley lasts, but leaving nice thick and creamy lacing down the glass. The smell is of raisins, figs, other dark fruits, caramel, bready, biscuits with slight herbal hops. The taste is sweet maltiness, caramel, buttery and super smooth. What is it that makes English brews so F***ing smooth and drinkable, even after traveling across the pond? There is a slight hop kick at the end just to add a nice bitterness to the aftertaste as well. Although this is listed as a "winter" seasonal, I believe I could really drink this on a regular basis. Another fine sampling from Samuel Smith's (even in the clear bottles it still tastes fresh). Maybe someday I'll get a chance to sample true English Ale on tap (cask)... maybe.

Gasp100, May 03, 2004
Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%

The color is a rather unique dark apricot. The head is white, mostly diminishing and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is quite pleasant and very subtle but still very enjoyable. It's floral and has some caramel.

I was kind of dreading this beer. I don't know why but it has been in the back of the fridge for months now but suprisingly, it's pretty tasty. Just plain, smooth malty goodness with fruits, toffee and caramel. This is way way way good. A great one to start the everning with.

Crosling, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of twilight
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

So I'm not saying this is a bad beer, but it's generally just okay. Pours a clearish copper red into my pint glass. The aroma has some hops, but smells more like a souped up pale ale with that delicious minerally quality that I loooove about S. Smith's ales. The flavor is very clean with a slight hoppy characteristic, but with a fruity malty sweetness. Aftertaste is slightly hop sour, with just the slightest hint of the alcohol underneath.

A very very good standard winter beer, not too intense in any way, very clean, but just GOOD in capital letters.

twilight, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of daledeee
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Whatever possessed me. A clear bottle and I do not mix. I was talked into this by my much respected store.

Pours a browning red beer with a medium head. Nose allows the skunk flavor to come through. Otherwise some hop malt and fruitiness. Taste is OK. Fairly malty and some hops and fruit coming through but I can't get past the skunk. A little astringent on the finish.

Hey Sam: throw away the clear bottle. You have a good beer here.

daledeee, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of travolta
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%

1 pint bottle

Apperance: Shaded red/copper. Head had minimal retention, but was nice and whipped. Lacing is great all the way down.

Nose: Sweet malts at first, some dried fruits in the middle and carmel at the end.

Taste: Crisp carbonation, some mild dried fruits again, fresh bread, a little bit of alcohol in the middle. Acutally the alcohol goes right until the end. A tiny bit bitter.

Notes: Very nice for the winter, the alcohol taste ruined the aftertaste a bit though.

travolta, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Bottle – Poured a brown colored brew with a medium head with equally medium retention. Aroma of hops with light floral and sweet aspect to it is quite pleasant. Taste is very enjoyable with a good mix of hops and malts. A bit thin on spice with a medium body. Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would have appreciated a bit more hops or spice to make it truly great.

Phyl21ca, Mar 15, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%

Gold-brown color, nice 2 finger head, very nice looking.

Flowery aroma, slight alcoholo notes, possible citrus notes, like a weak lemon tea, touch of sweetness.

Medium body, very full flavor. Very nice slight bread flavors with some caramel elements as well. Slight fruit flavors as well. Some dryness in the finish. Slight warming from the alcohol.

A very fine winter offering and another reason why some of my favorite brews come from Samuel Smith.

Southernbrew, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%

Presentation: 550ml Bomber bottle.

A transparent copper color with a creamy off-white head. Effervescence is strong and it has a light lace without a lot of clinging. Aroma is spicy with some malt and hops. The flavor has an astringent quality with a spicy middle and a lingering hop finish (could not taste much on the front end). Mouthfeel is light and effervescent.

IMHO: This is a fair light ale, but does not seem to be much of a winter warmer. I had a couple of these earlier in the season and they seemed a little fresher.

SeanChouffe, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of babyhobbes
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%

Poured with a huge off white head. Brew is amber colored and looks good. Scent was horrible at first..thought we got some weird macro! Oddly enough, the smell is mellowing out over time..but still isn't particularly pleasant.

The is a rather disappointing beer. There isn't much taste and the mouthfeel is like any other macro.

I am going to have trouble finishing this.

babyhobbes, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a clear bronze color.

Smell is mostly malt and a bit of tea.

Taste is mildly bitter. It is malty and a bit sweet. Roasted malt flavor is unmistakable. Tasty grain flavors and faint smokiness. A nice ale, not spectacular though.

Good Mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, for the money though I would buy the Oatmeal Stout.

Zorro, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of smcolw
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%

Orange to dark amber in color, clear. Nice creamy head that has good staying power and leaves thin lace as the beer is consumed

Stong malty aromas; slight hop touch, most likely a flavoring hop. I like the subtle sweetness of the smell.

Surprising hop on the front of the tasting. A full creamy malt flavor is present and well-balanced with a bitterness that makes for a complex experience. The aftertaste is very long lasting and remains an excellent balance of mellow malt and zesty hop.

Clearly a superior beer with excellent balance all around where all of the ingredients are noticeable. Savor the flavor profile, where the liquid transforms the flavor the longer you are able to concentrate.

I reviewed this beer one year ago where I gave an overall score of 2.4 because the beer had skunked. Obviously, this time around I am reviewing a fresh bottle. The dramatic rating change reflects that this beer truly is superior when consumed promptly after the case is opened (and then exposed to the light). As long as Samuel Smith's insists on putting their beer in clear glass bottles, I shall remain wary of purchasing it. All I can say is ask the bartender or retail clerk when the beer arrived to protect your purchase. Seek this beer out...if it is fresh!

smcolw, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of TerryW
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Amber orange with a moderate white head. Minimal lace from this one. Nice colour, that's about it.

Nose is hops and just a hint of lemon. Taste is of hops and a touch of nuts – not quite as interesting or intense as some of Smiths other offerings. Hop bitterness lingers for just a short bit.

I've really quite enjoyed a number of other Samuel Smith beers, but this one just isn't quite in the same league as some of the others although it is certainly decent enough in and of itself.

TerryW, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of stewart124
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

A copper-orange color with a nice head and beautiful lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell was a mix of hops, nut, and a citrus or fruityness. Taste was a good blend of hops and a smooth nutty taste. The fruit taste makes it way into the beer towards the end and the aftertaste is nice flavor of not too overpowering hops. I liked the charachter of this beer and the way everything seemed to fit together. A diffeerent winter beer than I'm used to but nonetheless very good.

stewart124, Jan 17, 2004
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,779 ratings.